Sport Tennis Kerber, Williams set up final showdown

Kerber, Williams set up final showdown

Serena Williams during her match against Elena Vesnina.
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Angelique Kerber has set up an Australian Open final rematch with Serena Williams after ending hopes of another all-sister title showdown at the All England Club.

Kerber denied five-times champion Venus Williams 6-4 6-4 in Thursday’s second semi-final after Serena wiped out unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2 6-0 in just 49 minutes.

“It’s just amazing to beat Venus in the semis,” Kerber said.

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“It’s always a really tough match against her. She’s a champion and won so many times here.

“That’s why I’m so happy with my game. It’s just a very good feeling.

After landing her maiden major in Melbourne, Kerber will once again be trying to stop Serena from matching fellow German Steffi Graf’s open-era record 22 grand slam singles crowns on Saturday.

“It’s a completely new tournament, new surface and everything is completely new,” said the fourth-seeded challenger.

“I will just go out with a lot of confidence, trying to play my tennis and to give everything in the final.”

Angelique Kerber celebrates beating Venus Williams on day ten of the Wimbledon Championships. Photo: AAP
Angelique Kerber celebrates beating Venus Williams on day 10 of Wimbledon. Photo: AAP

Kerber has every right to be cautious.

Serena’s comprehensive victory over Vesnina was the most one-sided women’s semi-final at the All England since Graf thrashed Pam Shriver 6-0 6-2 in 1997.

It was also the shortest in duration in the 48-year professional era, two minutes quicker than Williams’ thumping of Dinara Safina in 2009.

At 34, Williams is the oldest woman to make the Wimbledon final since Martina Navratilova in 1994, but is playing as well ever and is desperate to atone for her loss to Kerber in Australia and then to Garbine Muguruza in last month’s French Open decider.

On a mission, Serena raced to a 4-0 lead before allowing the world No.50 to even get on the scoreboard, then clinched the opening set in 28 minutes.

The top-seeded titleholder was even more ruthless in the second set, conceding a meagre five points and wrapping up victory with her 29th winner.

In a serving masterclass, Serena fired down 11 aces and lost only three points on serve all match.

Champion in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015, her only finals defeats on London’s famous grass courts came against Venus in 2008 and Maria Sharapova in 2004.

She will be contesting her 28th grand slam final in total on Saturday and said it was hard to comprehend she was into her ninth final at the home of tennis – 14 years after her first.

“It’s weird,” Serena said.

“I can’t believe I’m in the finals again.

“Obviously I’m 0 for two (this year) so hopefully I can win one this year.”

The top seed’s semi-final rout also secured the world No.1 ranking for at least a 301st week.

Kerber could have assumed the top ranking had she won the title and Williams didn’t make the final.

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